Mother, Grandmother Charged with Murder in 5-Year-Old’s Death

City News Service

(CNS) – Felony charges, including murder, were filed Friday against a mother and grandmother accused in the death of a 5-year-old child.

Vanessa Cervantes Rangel, 37, was charged with three felony counts — one each of murder, assault on a child under 8 resulting in death, and torture, according to court records. Hilaria Rangel, 55, was charged with one felony count of murder. They were both additionally charged with four misdemeanor counts of abuse endangering a child.

Both were scheduled to be arraigned at the Larson Justice Center in Indio on Friday afternoon.

A third defendant, Miriam Silva, also was charged Friday morning with one felony count of murder and a misdemeanor count of abuse endangering a child, according to court records.

Deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department’s Thermal station responded to the 50400 block of South Kenmore Street about 7:50 p.m. last Thursday to administer juvenile medical aid, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez.

Ramirez said the deputies were directed to a 5-year-old who was not breathing. Despite efforts from the deputies and Cal Fire medics who performed lifesaving measures, the child died at the scene, authorities said.

On Tuesday, sheriff’s investigators searched a residence in the 51500 block of Date Street at 7 p.m. and arrested the deceased child’s mother, Vanessa, according to Ramirez. The child’s grandmother, Hilaria, was identified as a second suspect and arrested at a separate location in Coachella, he said.

Vanessa Rangel was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Indio, while Hilaria Rangel was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning. They were both being held on $1 million bail.

The investigation was ongoing, and anyone with information was asked to call Investigator Lopez from the Thermal station at 760-863-8990 or Investigator Alfaro with the Central Homicide Unit at 760-393-3528.

Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.

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